Cheslyn Hay Weekly Newsletter – 18 February 2018

EVENTS  We welcome the acclaimed Barry Picken as our guest speaker this Thursday, 22nd February, at the Salem starting at 7.30pm to relate a true and intriguing story that he has called ‘Red Flowers and a Bag of Old Bones’.  Admittance £1 including refreshments.

OUR SALEM BASE is open from 9am – 2pm every Tuesday and this week we have invited all members of the Gingham Girls and other Cheslyn Hay dancing troupes to a nostalgic morning.  We will have a video of these girls from the sixties on view as well as 347 photographs of the Cheslyn Hay carnivals.  Letitia Bowater and friends will be there and it is open to everyone.

REQUESTS  Barry Weetman provides us with information on his grandfather, John Henry Whitehouse, who was living at 102 Littlewood Lane in1891 with his wife, Hannah (nee Weetman) and eldest daughters Pearl and Ruby.  Barry has contacted our David Whitehouse who has provided links back to a George Whitehouse and Lucy Brindley who married in May 1790 and they are exchanging information, particularly with John Henry’s desk diaries.  Barry states that John Henry Whitehouse worked down the mines as a boy and became a trade union official as a very young man before becoming a businessman owning a greengrocery business at the Pinfold, Bloxwich and then having a number of fish and chips shops in Walsall, Bloxwich, Cheslyn Hay and Essington.  When a child, Barry would meet his grandfather at the home of his aunt, next door to his family home in Broad Lane, Essington and both he and David would appreciate any information on him.

RESPONSES  Barry Weetman also responds to Mike’s enquiry emailing with full information on the Yew Tree Drift Mine off Broad Lane. Essington with his father, Harry Weetman, who had a coal business almost opposite the site.  Also after researching Mick Drury’s mining books in our Base Library we found in ‘The Lesser Known Coalmines of Cannock Chase’ the accident described in full.

Diane’s plea for information on her Whiles family has also produced an excellent response.  We have been able to locate where her family are buried and we have a wonderful 1933 photograph of her father Geoff Whiles in the Infants Class at Pinfold Lane School.  Also Malcolm Smith lived near to the Whiles in the Walsall Road hutments and recalls Mr and Mrs Whiles vividly.  But the real bonus comes from Ann, whose husband Ken Jackson’s paternal grandmother, Evelyn Nash, came up from Surrey to work in service and she became housekeeper to Mr ‘Nock’ Whiles after his wife died.  Ann has now been in contact with Diane as she has full information on the background to the Whiles family including her father Geoff, Ernest and Nancy as well as John, Stanley and Dorothy and to add  to the coincidences, Ann’s Aunty Jean lived in Fordhouses and worked with Diane’s mum in an Off Licence there.

NEW PHOTOGRAPHS  The Foster Family (PE-FOS-6) including Ethel (Harvey), Ernie, Sarah (Dickenson), Elizabeth (Moore), Sarah, John, Harry & William, (PE-FOS-7) Dorothy & Philip Foster with Gwyn Watkins, (PE-PRY-1) Parry family of High Street with Eunice, Brian, Jill & Elizabeth Parry with Bob Stringer, (GW-SCH-271 & 272) Great High School productions with only Marion Pee, Madeleine Hodgkiss, Ann McClure & Hilda Reaney named, (CH-SAL-217) 1972 Salem Gathering with Susan Green, Eileen Evans, Mavis Challinor, Jill & David Green.  £1 per 7×5 Photographic Print.


15th February 1968   Details of Hawkins Football Club Social and Dance for Charity.

15th February 1968  Story on Cheslyn Hay group of entertaining troupes with the Gingham Girls, the Annettes, the Honeytots and the Katrinas.

15th February 1968  The funeral of Mr. Lawrence James Hood, of “Eureka”, Wolverhampton Road, Cheslyn Hay.

15th February 1968  Landywood Estate Residents Association’s Valentine dance including names of organisers etc.

15th February 1968  Woodman Bowls Club’s annual meeting with informattion on Mr W Pearson, P Spencer, R Peach, Mr R Leach, Frank Bowen, Bert Walker, Mr M DamsMr H Mason, Mr F Downton,  Mr F Richards and Mr A Rogers.

Cannock Chase Courier  16th February 1918  Private Waltho is the only Cheslyn Hay lad who is a prisoner of war.  Details from the Red Cross Society.

16th February 1918  The annual general meeting of the Senior Bowling Club was held at the Red Lion with information including  Alfred CopeWilliam Follows, Mr A H SyreeTom Holdcroft,  Isaac ClewleyRalph Evans and Mr P Bown.

16th February 1918  In memory of Mr W J Leeke, of High Street, Cheslyn Hay.

Cheslyn Hay & DLHS Weekly News – 11th February 2018

EVENTS  No events this week but we have arranged a gathering of anyone who was involved in the Gingham Girls and other Cheslyn Hay dancing troupes the following Tuesday, 20th February at our Base from 10am onwards.  Letitia Bowater and friends will be there and we will have three volumes of photographs for viewing.  We are also asking any visitors to bring any of their own photographs or programmes with them for copying.

OUR SALEM BASE is open from 9am – 2pm every Tuesday.  Everyone welcome.

REQUESTS  New member Dean Steadman from Lincolnshire has joined to add to his researches on his g-g-g-g-granddad Paul Steadman (b1797) mentioned in a recent newsletter and is asking to contact Debra, Vi or Maslen Merchant to exchange information on the Steadman tree.  This has now been put into practice.

I’ve also received an enquiry from a Glenys Lomas who is interested in house history and is asking for any information on 84 & 86 Station Street and 13 Coppice Lane, all addresses that she has had close ties with in the past.

And Diane Pike emails looking for any information or photographs of her father’s family.  He was Geoffrey William Whiles (b1927, son of Enoch Whiles of 9 Bungalow, Walsall Road, Great Wyrley).

RESPONSES   Percy Carpenter, author of ‘A Song of Spring’ an absorbing read that relates to his early life around Landywood, responses to Mike Potts’ enquiry about the pit accident at the Yew Tree Colliery and the death of George Cooper.’  And Phil Jones points out that the Yew Tree Drift Mine gets a mention in the series of books done by the Mining Society and he is in contact with Mr Marsh, whose father was an owner of that mine, having the records going back to when it was opened.’

Peter Cadman provides a snippet to the New Inns pub involving the Price family of 149 Station Street.

OLD NEWSPAPERS reports presented by Adrian Baillie following his research on his g-grandfather, George Mason, the renowned local character known as ‘Massa’ with five interesting court cases, from 1894 – 1906, also involving Henry Russell, Richard Davis, William Summerton, Handel Thomas, John Astle and Frederick Poole.


8th February 1968  Confrontation on Rosemary Road, Cheslyn Hay, being one of the worst unmade roads in the country.

8th February 1968  The funeral of Mrs May Ellen Brough, of 7 Coppice Lane, Cheslyn Hay.

9th February 1918  AliceTurner.  In loving memory of the beloved wife of Henry Turner of Cheslyn Hay.

Harry Morris.  In loving memory of the beloved son of Thomas and Eliza Morris, of Cheslyn Hay, who met his death at the Old Coppice Colliery, February 17th 1913.

9th February 1918  Michael Doughan, pit sinker, Low Street, Cheslyn Hay, found  guilty in court case.

FRANK ALLEN  Another long standing member has passed away.  Frank was well respected for his talks and knowledge on the local railways and will be sadly missed.  He died 29th January aged 85 and his funeral is at St Marks on Friday, 23rd February at 1.45pm.

Cheslyn Hay Weekly News – 4th February 2018

4th February 2018

EVENTS  Our next Chat n Char is this Thursday, 8th February, at 10.00am in the Main Hall of the Salem and Roger’s theme this month is ‘Be my Valentine’.

OUR SALEM BASE is open from 9am – 2pm every Tuesday.  Everyone welcome.

REQUESTS  Mike, one of our regular members of our Tuesday group at the Base, recalls an incident in 1947 when nine miners, including his father Albert Potts, were trapped behind a fall of rock for 18 hours at the Yew Tree Colliery, a drift mine in Old Landywood Lane, but we have nothing recorded at all in our archives.  Tanny Moore and the overman, Freddy Thomas, were involved in the rescue, but has anyone else any recollections of the occurrence that may have been passed down over the years?

RESPONSES  Doug Russell has sent an email this week pointing out a perfect example of ironic humour with ‘I love the story of the two court cases.  One fined for showing lights the other fined for having no lights – at the same hearing!’

Ray Franks now provides Graham with the solution to his enquiry ‘Why is the New Inn in Station Street referred to as the New Inns?’ with a full explanation.

NEW PHOTOGRAPHS  Photographs in the new Jim Bullock Collection (JB-COL) include Jim, June & Tony Bullock, the Mills family with Len, June, Ruth & Doreen, Shirley Thompson, Margaret Kingston, Vi Barber, Joan Marshall, Maureen Downton, Ann Walker together with various Salem events.  £1 per 7×5 Photographic Print.

ARCHIVE ADDITIONS/ARTEFACTS/DONATIONS  Funeral Service card commemorating the life of Malcolm Thomas Walmsley.

Also Lorraine Vernon has donated two intricate wood carvings including a wood puzzle for our Schools Display by her late husband Charles (1924–1993) of 14 Park Street and, for our ‘history library’, ‘The Road to Passchendaele’ a compelling 370 page book of photographs, interviews and first hand accounts compiled by the best selling WWI author Richard van Emden.


Our researcher Vi has been looking at last week’s perturbing case of Albert and Sarah Eaton,  High Street, Cheslyn Hay, but apparently the Cannock Chase Courier reported the wrong details from the Court Sessions.  The correct names of the accused were actually Albert and Sarah Heaton who have no connections with the Eaton family and Vi gives details of their later lives.

1st February 1968  The inquest of the tragic death of Mrs Doris Merchant, aged 64.

1st February 1968 Story of the Cheslyn Hay Over 60’s Club with Mrs D SmithMrs WesleyMr G Bladen, Mr C Evans, Mrs F Stokes, Mrs G Savage, Mrs Dohey, Miss Joan GoodmanMrs Knott, Mrs G PlantMrs Bayliss and Mrs Thomas.

2nd February 1918  A dance and social devoted to the Red Cross funds with full details.

2nd February 1918  After a meeting of Cannock Rural Tribunal this week, cases for exemption were heard for Frederick G Wooton, Grocery and Provisions Dealer, Cheslyn Hay, Joseph Baker, Butcher and Farm Bailiff, Cheslyn Hay and W T Collins (42) Works Manager, Rosemary Tileries, Cheslyn Hay. Full information given.

2nd February 1918  A meeting of allottees and the general public took place at Cheslyn Hay Schools on Tuesday, when the Chairman of the Parish Council remarked that the meeting was called in consequence to a communication he had received from the Minister of Food Production.  Details of the outcome involving Messrs C T Lawson, R Brough, F W Hawkins, S H Harvey, W H Westwood and T Whitehouse.

WHAT’S IN OUR ARCHIVES  We now have a series of collections in our archives that have been donated to us from a variety of sources.  Many are from relatives of people who have lived their entire lives in Cheslyn Hay and the collections include photographs, memorabilia and in some circumstances documents recording different social aspects of our village.  Such is the instance this week when we have been privileged to receive and catalogue the Jim Bullock Collection that not only include photographs but Jim’s records, results and happenings of the Cheslyn Hay Homing Society in the sporadically acknowledged pigeon racing fraternity.  Names that appear in these records of the Cheslyn Hay Homing Society Activities from 1976 – 1978 are  Adshead, Aldred, Allport, Armishaw, A Astbury, Baxter, H Bailey, H Bate, T Bird, R Brackmanski, A E Brown, Bullock, Chambers, A Clarke, S Corfield, J T & J E Dace, Ellis, Emery, A & Will Farrington, J D Follows, J Gaskin, E & C Gittins, Gretton, D Hales (Oak Avenue GW), Heminsley, A Humphries, K Lockett, D Parkes (74 Mitre Road), Perks, J Rogers, Rose, Russell, C Selvey, S Sivorn (13 Coppice Lane), Spooner, F Startin, V Steadman, B Ward, E Watts, J F Webb, A Winfer (3 Cross Street), Winnell.

BOB COOPER  Well known for his local sporting activities over a number of years, playing bowls for the Woodman and cricket for both Hawkins and Harrisons, Bob passed away quietly in the Residential Home at Bloxwich two weeks ago.

JOAN PERKS  Joan’s funeral will be on Thursday, 8th February at the Salem starting at 11.30am followed by the burial at the Cheslyn Hay cemetery.

DAVID BATTERSBY  Another devastating loss this week, not only to our Society, but to both Bridgtown and Great Wyrley societies as well.  David successfully underwent his long awaited hip operation at the New Cross Hospital on Wednesday afternoon but tragically suffered a heart attack during the night and sadly passed away in the early hours of Thursday morning, 1st February.  Our thoughts and sympathy go out to Margaret and David’s family.  More information next week.

Cheslyn Hay & DLHS Weekly News – 28 January 2018

Cheslyn Hay &DLHS Weekly News – 21st January 2018

EVENTS   This month’s speaker is Rod Lewis, an Official Guide at the National Arboretum, giving a talk on the traumatic events of World War One entitled ‘Shot at Dawn’.  This Thursday, 25th January, at the Salem starting at 7.30pm.  Admission £1 including refreshments.  Everyone welcome.

OUR SALEM BASE is open from 9am – 2pm every Tuesday and this week Dr Alan Jones will be present with updates and his latest findings on the Edalji case.  Open to all.

REQUESTS  An appeal on our website comes from Kathy Ward who is the granddaughter of George Handel Bailey  and Violet Bailey (nee Chetwyn) and she is asking for any information on them and, if possible, any photographs as she has never seen them.  She is also willing to exchange information on her researches and photographs of some of her Bailey relatives.

Kathy also asks if anyone has any memories of Doris Davies (b1903) who was the older sister of  Phyllis Davies who died a few years ago.

And a request on our Facebook page comes from Amelia who asks ‘Does anyone know the history of the cottages on Hobnock Road in Essington?  We moved in a couple of years ago and would love to put a date on when they were built and for whom.  We have found them on maps dating back to the 1830s with some mention in the deeds of the Squire family living here in the 1900s and they were lock makers.’

RESPONSES  We now have a family tree of the Jukes/Dukes family showing our local connections including Susanna WhitehouseMaria Cox (b1778 Great Wyrley), Elizabeth Benton and Benjamin Hawkins. However Peter, a member and researcher of the same family, points out some confusion as there were two James’s – one born in 1787 with only the fathers name Thomas Jukes shown on the bishops transcript – and one in 1792 is born to James Jukes and Mary.  The name of Dukes seem to have disappeared during the 1800s but there are a number of Jukes being recorded as buried in the old graveyard at St Marks as well as the Great Wyrley and Cheslyn Hay cemeteries throughout the 1900s.

ARCHIVE ADDITIONS/ARTEFACTS/DONATIONS   Details of the history of the Cheslyn Hay Waterworks.


Cannock Advertiser  18th January 1968  A letter from Mr W S Whitehouse, 6 Littlewood Road, Cheslyn Hay.

18th January 1968  Because a 74 year-old sick old man and his family did not have a house, Herbert D Kingston of The Nook, Cheslyn Hay, told Cannock magistrates on Monday he permitted them to live in two caravans on land he owned.  Full details of the case.

Cannock Chase Courier – 19th January 1918

On Sunday evening, a memorial service was held at Mount Zion Primitive Methodist Church, Cheslyn Hay, in honour and memory of the late William Brownand George Rowland Benton.  Stories of both of their lives before they were killed with contributipns from Mr Edward Brough, Mr James Kingston and Mr Thomas Weetman.

MEMORIES  This week from Glenys Lomas (nee Hammond) relating stories of her grandfather, Herbert Baker, son of Anne and Phineas Baker, the barber, and details of her grandparents house, 18 Low Street, together with a mystery including her cousin Jane Mansell.  Also involved are Alice Pearson (nee Baker), Kath PearsonBill Mansell and the Hawkins family with Miss Jean, Mr Harold and his son Adrian.

GENERAL NEWS   We’ve had enquiries from last week’s article in the Chronicle for our old friend Mick Drury’s published 200 page book of his life down Littleton Colliery called ‘Boots all my Life’.  It’s an excellent read, particularly for any old miners.  Please contact Alan Dean 01543 275638 to post the book on to them for £14 plus £4 postage, but for anyone living locally I’ll gladly deliver it just for the £14.

Cheslyn Hay & DLHS Weekly News – 14th January 2018

14th January 2018

EVENTS  Peter Cadman has a busy week representing our Society with two popular and  nostalgic talks entitled ‘I do like to be beside the Seaside’ on Wednesday and Thursday to the ‘Target Club’ and the ‘96 Club’ respectively.  Peter is also involved as part of a presentation team involving employment skills at the Great Wyrley High School on Tuesday.

OUR SALEM BASE is open from 9am – 2pm every Tuesday and this week we have Adrian Baillie from Dudley researching his local Masonconnections, arriving mid morning and he is hoping to meet anyone with links to this family.

REQUESTS   Sylvia Parsons emails from Essex ‘My g-g-g-g-grandfather Job Dukes was born in 1771 and I believe his father was Thomas Jukes(b1745/6) who was apparently married to Susanna Whit(e)house (banns recorded 14 Jul 1765).  I have not been able to find out much about Job except he married Maria Cox in 22 Sept 1800.  My father was Reginald Dukes who passed away in 1958. and my family have lived around Hertfordshire from the 1800’s and I have a marriage cert for Job Dukes (1823-1870)  and Matilda Osborn dated 1851 in Hemel Hempstead and a death cert in 1870 and on both documents Job was a ‘Shoemaker’.  The marriage certificate for Job and Matilda shows Job’s fathers name as Job Dukes who was a ‘Dealer’ but I have not been able to trace a birth document for this earlier Job, who I believe was born in 1771.  A Buckinghamshire burial index for 1828 shows a birth year for a John/Job  Dukes as 1771 and this is the Job I would like some information on.  I have a traced 11 births for this Job who married a Maria Cox in 1800, one being Job Dukes christened on 25 May 1823 which I believe is the Shoemaker and according to the 1851 census, in Aylesbury Buckinghamshire, this Maria (Dukes) 1778 was born in 1778 in Wharely (Wyrley) Staffordshire with Job’s occupation shown as a China Dealer, which appears to tie in with the above information.

Two of Job’s (b1771) brothers I believe are William (b 1787) and Richard Dukes (b 1766).   According to the 1851 census William is living in Buckinghamshire and is a China Dealer but it states that he was born in Kenneth (Cannock) Staffordshire.  I have both William and Richard’s wills with Richard stating ‘he leaves his brothers Job and William a legacy.

Thomas Jukes (b 1745/6 in Cheslyn Hay, died 1871) (please note name Jukes) he married Susanna Whit(e)house (christened 18 Jun 1747 at Oldbury) at St Luke’s in Cannock.  Children were – Richard (b1766 who married Margaret Whit(e)house, maybe relative of his mums), Job (b1771) and William (b1787) and I believe there were Jane, Mary and Thomas as well.

I am now planning a visit to see your local area as I still have family connections in Cannock.

RESPONSES  Following a request from Debra in October when our Vi helped to produce her Steadman family tree back to Paul Steadman in 1797 one of our members has now linked this Paul into his own Merchant tree and he is able to provide further information going back into the earlier 1700s.

ARCHIVE ADDITIONS/ARTEFACTS/DONATIONS   Dr Alan Jones, author of ‘The Edaljis – A Family in Turmoil’ has posted updated information from newspaper reports of four aspects of the Edalji case with full copies of the anonymous letters and the Edaljis’ responses to them, details of all the animal atrocities, the dispute when the vicar, Shapurji Edalji, refused to have a hymn sung at the funeral of Mr J H Whitehouse’s young daughter and coverage of the dispute when the churchwardens refused to serve under Shapurji because of the ‘unpleasantness and increasing troubles’ and that the office had ‘lost its honour and dignity’.

OLD NEWSPAPERS of 1919 researched by Dave Washington  Stories covering the request of a watering cart to visit Cheslyn Hay’s main street, a dispute on cookery teaching at the Salem, a refusal to pave and erect shelters in the Cheslyn Hay school playground, a sale of furniture and effects of the late Fanny Bill of Cheslyn Hay House and a Welcome Home Reception for 90 GW Lewis Rosemary Tileries employees returning from the war with presentations to Capt Kenneth Knox MC, Lieut Leonard Knox VC, Frank Emberton DCM and Frank Darby MM.


11th January 1968  The funeral of Mrs Alice Hawkins, of Grasmere

11th January 1968  Death and will of Mr Albert James Bowater of 19 Littlewood Road

11th January 1968  Details of Talbot 9 – 0 win.

11th January 1968  Success on the snooker table for T Cascarino, R GregoryP Cole and S Rothwell.

12th January 1918  Thomas Bate found guilty in court.

12th January 1918  Richard Benton, Thomas Lockett and George Ridgeway were charged and found guilty in court.

12th January 1918  On Sunday evening a special service was held at Salem Methodist church in aid of the Blind Soldiers.

12th January 1918  Meeting of the Local Relief Committee and Red Cross society.

12th January 1918  The prospects for the coming session of the Salem Social Class involving Mr John Horton and Mr Joseph Baker.

GENERAL NEWS   The Pet Shop, opposite the Colliers Arms, that have provided a first class service over so many years is finally closing down on Friday, 2nd February.  They are currently having a Clearance Sale of everything including all pet food and pet accessories as well as gardening items, cards and stationery.  So please make the Pet Shop a priority if you have any need for any of these items.  Opening hours are Wednesday & Fridays (9-1pm, 2-5pm) and Saturday 9-1pm.

MAC WALMSLEY  Funeral is on Tuesday, 23rd January, at Bushbury Crematorium and afterwards at the Hawkins Sports Club.  Peter Cadman asks to be contacted on 01785 213678 or   as he needs to know for catering purposes.   

Cheslyn Hay & DLHS Weekly News – 7th January 2018